The new Kia Carnival undergoes crash testing.
The new Kia Carnival undergoes crash testing.

Kia 'shocked' over four-star ANCAP rating for Carnival

KIA'S new Carnival people-mover has received only a four-star crash safety rating.

The lower than expected rating was announced following physical crash tests and assessment of its active safety features.

The key issue was the simulated head-on crash, which found "there is heightened risk of serious injury to the legs and feet of the driver. There was excessive movement of the park and foot brake pedals and significant footwell deformation. Dash components were a potential source of injury to the knees".

Kia was shocked by the ANCAP announcement.

In announcing the move, ANCAP took a swipe at the media for quoting Kia's confidence of gaining a five-star rating once it had implemented seat belt warning functionality in its second row.

"The ANCAP test and assessment process involves many elements and requires significant specialist expertise to determine the final overall rating. Speculation as to a vehicle's rating ahead of publication simply leads to consumer confusion," ANCAP chief executive officer Nicholas Clarke said.

"Independent testing is the best way to determine the overall safety of a car. The inclusion or omission of one or more safety features does not necessarily translate into an automatic increase or decrease in star rating. There are a variety of factors which come into play."

Kia Motors Australia chief operating officer Damien Meredith said the company would "abide by the umpire's decision".

"It was definitely unexpected as all indications from internal data and the car's excellent performance in the North American Highway Safety Institute's testing, led us to believe there would be a five-star outcome," Mr Meredith said.

Mr Meredith added that the data from the tests, which Kia has only just obtained, will be sent to Kia's research and development team for analysis and to formulate an engineering fix as soon as possible.

"The R&D team will now have an opportunity to fully explore and analyse this result, and once that process has been completed KMAu will be in a better position to comment further," he said.

In the United States, where the Carnival is called a Sedona, it achieved a "top safety pick" rating according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. See the link. 

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